Bennett Environmental Inc.
TSX : BEV

Bennett Environmental Inc.

December 18, 2008 14:12 ET

BEI Sentence Confirmed in Department of Justice Proceeding

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2008) - Bennett Environmental Inc. (TSX:BEV) (the "Company" or "BEI") announced today that it was sentenced in the United States' Federal Court, in New Jersey, on December 15, 2008 with respect to one count of fraud related to the Company's conduct with respect to bidding for the Federal Creosote project in New Jersey. The Company had previously announced that it had pleaded guilty to the charge. The charge and subsequent guilty plea arose out of actions of individuals that occurred in the time period 2002-2004 when the Company was under different management.

Under the sentence the Company will serve five years probation during which it agrees to comply with all applicable rules and regulations pertaining to bidding for work. In addition the Company will pay a fine of $1 million U.S. and restitution of $1.66 million U.S., with payments being made over the next five years. The estimated cost of the fine and restitution had been accrued by the Company at the end of 2007. The Company maintains its eligibility to perform U.S. government work during its 5 year probationary period. The Company has agreed to continue to provide full co-operation with the on-going investigation.

The accrual that had been previously made by the Company overestimated the Company's liability by approximately $300,000 U.S. The liability will be adjusted to the lower amount in the Company's results for the fourth quarter of 2008.

The Company has filed a claim against the Company's founder and former CEO for $10,000,000. The Company alleges that he was directly or indirectly responsible for the actions that gave rise to these fraud charges, fines and legal fees. In addition to seeking to recover the fines and illegal payments the claim seeks to recover bonuses that it alleges were inappropriately paid and punitive damages. The claim has not yet been defended.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements contained in this press release and in certain documents incorporated by reference into this press release constitute forward-looking statements. The use of any of the words "anticipate", "continue", "estimate", "expect", "may", "will", "project", "should", "believe" and "confident" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. BEI believes that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable but no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in, or incorporated by reference into, this press release should not be unduly relied upon. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release. BEI undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Bennett Environmental Inc.

Bennett Environmental Inc. is a North American leader in high temperature treatment services for the treatment of contaminated soil and has provided thermal solutions to contamination problems throughout Canada and the U.S. Bennett Environmental's technology provides for the safe, economical and permanent solution to contaminated soil. Independent testing has consistently proven that the technology operates well within the most stringent criteria in North America. For information, please visit the Bennett Environmental website at: www.bennettenv.com.

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